She left a note at home and posted an announcement on Facebook.
“I just left my husband. [Insert ambiguous reason here.] He doesn’t know yet, but he will soon.”
While every relationship is different, some break up methods are superior to others. While some finales deserve a giant hoopla with fire crackers and hand grenades, here are some universal tips on how to do it with grace:
1. Make up your mind. No, really. Being wishy-washy only sends mixed signals. If you decide to break up with your partner, don’t announce it and then go back on your words. Otherwise, your credibility is shot. It’s a big decision. Think it over. Consider the permanence and implications of the change. And only when you’re finally ready and not one second sooner do you drop the bomb.
2. Set and be firm about boundaries. Take some time to figure out what you will and won’t allow from your soon-to-be ex. Good boundaries are:
“I won’t engage in arguments.”
“From now on, I’ll only partner with people who bring out the best in me.”
3. Remember you once loved this person. Being hateful is one thing neither of you will ever forget. No use adding fuel to the fire, so just be nice. Or merely civil if that’s all you can manage. But, being kind does not mean compromising your boundaries. (see #2.)
4. Respect each other’s privacy. You’ll no longer have an obligation to account for your time apart, which means no inquiring allowed. This goes for both of you. And if for some reason you still live together, fix that situation as quickly as humanly possible to make this easier. Respecting each other’s privacy also means you don’t divulge each other’s issues publicly. Betraying an ex’s trust after is all said and done is not just cruel, it’s uncouth. Don’t announce personal things on Facebook, and don’t dish their dirty laundry at the next social gathering.
5. Follow the Rule of Responsibility: Someone’s bad behavior is never an excuse to stoop to their level. Just because your ex has said/done/implied something nasty towards you doesn’t justify a bad reaction in return. Think before you act. You don’t want to be haunted by the repercussions of revenge.
Not sure if you’re ready to cut the relationship cord? This Little Black Book of Big Red Flags may help.